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The Football Manager Youth Academy Challenge


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On 14/12/2019 at 20:14, Koetzer said:

Unfortunately, we lost our star defender Probst with damaged cruciate ligaments until next winter

Two days after he resumed training...

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And earlier we lost our starting midfielder Zakany who suffered spine injury and had to retire :seagull: However, we are fighting for promotion so far.

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Wanted to get peoples thoughts on my current save (Nuneaton FC) and the next steps to take: 

  • Second season in VNN and I will most likely reach a play off spot. 
  • First youth intake was very mediocre and probably wont produce any first team members in the future
  • Finances are stable around 200-300K balance. Haven't made any youth investments cause of our financial situation.
  • My two best platers are 31 (Striker and league topscorer) and 32 (DLP). 

Should I try to clinch promotion trough the play offs or hold off and build a more solid base?
Should I invest in my youth facilities/coaching even though that might put our numbers in red? 
How to generate more income? I'm trying to organize friendlies against high profile clubs and get as far as possible in the cups. Any other tips?
 

Edited by Miek
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Sportklub Austria Klagenfurt

SK Austria Klagenfurt - Season 2019/20

2. Liga

I think Liefering could easily finish second in Bundesliga if they were allowed to play there. We were too inconsistent for winning promotion, and despite defeating Ried twice finished one point behind them. Still that's a progress and we can hope for one more step forward next season.

ÖFB Cup

Worse than last season but anyway we met the board expectations.

Youth intake

Becker 20a | Bader 20b | Seidel 20c | Altmann 20d | Makarov 20e

Another striker as a top prospect, and actually four best players of this intake belong to the attacking line. Better than nothing of course but I'd prefer a more balanced squad.

Squad stats

As you can see, we had almost the same starting 11 in most games, only rotating one of the central midfielders more regularly. Hirschhofer led our attack with 21 goals (including 5 in one game against Austria Salzburg), Jaritz once again was the best assistant, and Muharemovic surprisingly had the highest average rating (he was good as an advanced playmaker but didn't have any outstanding stats). Allmendinger had a good debut season, 6+4 from the bench including some winning goals.

Transfers

TTmSIp4.png

The rewards for fielding young players are extremely helpful here, we managed to get two improvements for junior coaching and recruitment during this season.

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@Miek actually in this kind of challenge you never know when the squad will be strong enough to play on higher level, so I recommend to push for promotion when there is such opportunity. As for improvements - it's better to start with junior coaching and youth recruitment, they are less expensive and so will be more likely agreed with board.

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Things that are starting to annoy me.

This season, after every match we're called 'Youthful Palermo' by the media. Everybody's a year older than 12 months ago.

Because my entire squad is so young, I don't know which players hate big matches until they hit about 22, by which time they've probably passed on this trait to all their juniors. I have the first 3 players waiting for a spine donor in their own mentoring group now

Every now and then, I'm told a bigger club has poached one of my youth players, but I started making a note of this last season, and he (the first one) never appeared in his club's intake, or indeed anywhere. Maybe he'll appear next intake, at which point I'll know whether this news item actually means anything.

Edited by vikeologist
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Quick mid-season update at Foggia

868092586_FootballManager202012_17_201912_19_41PM.thumb.png.f43634ff538c370b091829d89ecb2168.png

We are decidedly average.  +1 goal difference sitting in 7th place.  Not really good enough for the title but away from the relegation playoff.  Setting up for an early round knockout in the promotion playoff.

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Sportklub Austria Klagenfurt

SK Austria Klagenfurt - Season 2020/21

2. Liga

After selling their key players Liefering weren't the strongest team in our division anymore, so we had a chance to win the title and eventually made it. Though Kapfenberger did everything to make our task harder, only their defeat in 29th round allowed us to celebrate promotion with a game to go. Next season will be tough but I hope we'll stay clear of the only relegation spot.

ÖFB Cup

Our best cup result so far, though I was ready for another 2nd round loss in a game against St. Polten when we were 0-2 behind on 77th minute but came back to win in extra time. 

Youth intake

Marcucci 21a | Fruh 21b | Schmidt 21c | Buddenberg 21d | Kulmer 21e | Ganser 21f | Ostermann 21g | Lang 21h

The improvements we made to our academy are really working! The first foreign-born youngster already has 3* CA and surely will be in the first squad next season. But can we have the best player on some other position next time? :D Also we've got two good goalkeepers and promising fullbacks on both sides.

Squad stats

I switched our formation to 4-4-2 (considering quality of our young strikers that was an obvious decision), and that worked. Allmendinger played closer to goal so not a surprise that he became our top goalscorer. Jaritz missed first half of the season with injuries, but Sihler provided a really good cover for the left wing. Probst returned after more than a year out of football, and he's still our key defender :thup: Unfortunately, last season's best player Muharemovic will move to Kapfenberger as his contract was going to expire.

Transfers

5U2fDYX.png

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Belfast Celtic FC (N. Ireland)
Season 2 - 2021/22

Fantastic season all in all. We won the league (and gained promotion), and our first year intake was nicely integrated into the first team.
On the transfer front, Curtis Hassan left us. He did not accept my contract offer, but at 30 with half a star in potential ability and very few, short substitutions, it will not be a loss.

League (Results 1, Results 2, Cups) - For the second year in a row, not much to tell about the cups. We started the league reasonably well, and at least much better than last year. During mid season, we slowly improved and 
reached the top of the league. From december and onwards we did not loose drawing 5 and winning 6 matches. Moyola Park did put pressure on os in the run in, but a relatively secure 2-0 victory in the head to head tie helped us secure the league title and automatic promotion. Fantastic. I stood by my simple 4-4-2 and it served us well.

Team - Our only goalkeeper, Martin Harrison from first years intake did a really good job, and is already at 18 one of the best players in the club and developing really well. In midfield Darren Lavery was a first choice option,
and Darren Stuart was once again our top goalscorer with 17 league goals in 22 matches. Impressive.

Facilities - I took advantage of our strong league campaign and pressured the board to accept further Junior Coaching and Youth Recruitment upgrades even though our finances are decreasing. 
They are now both Adequate. This is very acceptable for our current level and gives us a good, solid base of decently gifted players to build upon in the coming years. Moreover, our squad is now numerically bolstered.

Finances - The finances did not deteriorate as quickly as I expected. They are still in the black, but getting closer to 0. With this years intake upgrades this is not as big a worry as it might would have been.

Youth Intake - Another 'Golden Generation'. We received two goalkeepers this year, but they are not as good as Harrison. At least we now have decent backup on this position. I am hoping that Paul Mulgrew can improve and 
claim a spot in our midfield. I also have high hopes for our new striker Alan O'Hanlon and full back David Harris. Ethan Logue looks like a better central defender than last years candidates and Graeme Macauley will hopefully do well at right wing.

Goal for next season: Avoid relegation. Keep hold of our promising young players.

2019-12-22_172949a0f6fd0b77b8f7fc.png

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Hey guys I've always loved reading the forums for this challenge for years I've read it since FM17. This will be the first year I'm up to date with the game ever. I have always been two FMs behind since 2016. I would like to try out the youth challenge again, and this time post about it. Hopefully this time I get to finishing it... I'm most likely going to start in Austria this year. I apologize in advance if my updates are all over the place my first times. I'm very new to this kind of stuff. Hopefully I'm able to figure out the links and screenshots stuff that most likely will be biggest issue. 

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Sportklub Austria Klagenfurt

SK Austria Klagenfurt - Season 2021/22

Bundesliga | Relegation group

After 22 games the league splits in two groups with only half of points counted. That actually restarts the season, especially in the relegation group which becomes totally unpredictable. At one point we were close to bottom, but four wins in a row moved us to the top spot which means contesting last European place in playoffs. Unfortunately, two our starting center-backs decided to have an early vacation and missed the final matchday after collecting 5 yellow cards, so we lost 3-5 and finished 8th in overall table. 

ÖFB Cup

Despite playing mostly with reserve squad we advanced to 3rd round and lost to Altach (eventual league runners-up) after conceding a late penalty.

Youth intake

Wolf 22a | Erlachner 22b | Deinert 22c | Abels 22d | Klotz 22e | Strasser 22f | Maurer 22g | Wolff 22h | Keller 22i | Schilling 22j

No immediate first team contenders in this intake, but its depth is better than in previous years. We have another goalkeeper as the top prospect, and also some talented center-backs and wingers (positions where we didn't get much improvements before).

Squad stats

The competition between our talented strikers so far ends in favour of Marcucci and Allmendinger. Thomas Fruh already got some playing time in goal, and I think next season he will be our number one.

Transfers

mWBeJBf.png

Unfortunately, Bundesliga has lower prize money for fielding young domestic players, and wage demands became higher after promotion, so our finances are not so good anymore, Guess at some point we'll have to sell key players :( 

Edited by Koetzer
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Sportklub Austria Klagenfurt

SK Austria Klagenfurt - Season 2022/23

Bundesliga | Championship group

Not so impressive second part of the season, though getting into the top half is already a big achievement. Last season 5th placed team qualified for the European playoffs, so we could be there as well, but...

ÖFB Cup

All favourites were eliminated on early stages, and we remained the only team from top six to reach quarter-final. That was a chance we couldn't miss (though almost did it in semi-final against Admira, only winning it on penalties), and Marcucci's goal against Wattens brought us the first major trophy and a Europa League place next season!

Youth intake

Susic 23a | Willam 23b | Hohmann 23c | Burghart 23d | Appelrath 23e | Kampitsch 23f

Looks a bit worse than last year, though still called a golden generation. And once again we have a striker as the best prospect :D

Squad stats

All our achievements this season would have been impossible without Simone Marcucci, he set the club records in goals, average rating and MoM awards, was selected as league's best player and already attracted interest from Chelsea (hope the board wouldn't sell him too quickly as I don't want to let him go until 2027). Thomas Fruh, another prospect from the 2021 intake, is now an indispensable first team player as well. Also they both were called for the U21 Euro this summer.

Transfers

zDWbiiA.png

Our balance is still below zero, hopefully European debut will help to improve it (advancing to the group stage would be ideal, of course).

Edited by Koetzer
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Sportklub Austria Klagenfurt

SK Austria Klagenfurt - Season 2023/24

Bundesliga | Championship group

That was a good season - we went to the winter break as leaders, the second stage was a lot harder but still we stayed close to the better teams and even defeated Red Bull for the first time (despite losing the title they are still the strongest team here). Though... it turned out that Austria lost one European spot and 4th place is now not enough even for playoffs :( 

ÖFB Cup

Second final in a row, but this time LASK left us without European football.

Europa League

We had no real chances to defeat Lazio and qualify to the group stage, but two wins over Belenenses and a draw in Rome weren't bad for the debut season.

Youth intake

Peischl 24a | Traxler 24b | Schneider 24c | Alberding 24d | Schilling 24e | Freiberger 24f

So far all our youth intakes were called golden generations :D 

Squad stats

Marcucci continued to improve his goalscoring stats, once again won the league's best player award and was called up to the senior Italian team (though haven't played yet). The bids for him were about 16M but so far he's happy to stay at our club earning 65 euros a week :D  

Transfers

Zan Pelko, our number one keeper until the previous season, returned home. Unfortunately I couldn't sell some other former key players with high wages (like Hirschhofer) so they will leave us after this season.

3qH7wsx.png

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On 14/12/2019 at 16:01, andershs said:

Belfast Celtic FC (N. Ireland)
Season 1 - 2020/21

We survived in the Northern Irish third tier and finished 9th. Given that we had no goalkeeper and no right-back in our squad, this is a success.

For some reason, my Head of Youth Development kept making offers for players to my first team. I haven't found the correct setting to change yet. I managed to cancel most offers, but one went through as you can see in my incoming transfers. As you can see from the outgoing transfers, I released him on the same date. I hope this is ok and not a dealbreaking violation of the challenge rules.

League (Results 1, Results 2, Cups) - Not much to tell about the cups. In the league, we started ok with a draw, a loss and a win. But for the next ten games, we did not win and managed only 5 draws. After a particularly poor 2-5 loss against Banbridge, I rejected my tactic and switched to a simple long-ball 4-4-2. Luckily, this improved the results somewhat, and we won 4 of our next 7 matches, effectively avoiding relegation in the process.
The last two games of the season were both won and were our first back to back wins of the season. Whether this was due to us finally having an actual goalkeeper and right back, I don't know, but we played quite well, so hopefully we can keep improving in the new season.

Team - Our strongest area is the attack where our striker Darren Stuart scored 11 goals in 20 league matches. In addition to the positions where we have no players, we are very thin in central midfield as well as central defense. There is not much quality. Our youth intake prospects are very welcome additions to the team.

Facilities - I managed to force through upgrades to the Junior Coaching and Youth Recruitment, so they are now both Average. This is very pleasing.

Finances - We still have black numbers on our bank account, but we are loosing money every month, so it will be a matter of a few months before our finances are negative. This means, that our average intake facility levels will have to do for the foreseeable future. This is ok, as I am confident, that the player quality will be enough for this level. 

Youth Intake - Very good intake. The goalkeeper Mark Harrison and the right back Mark Murphy went straight into the first team. I am also hoping that Glenn Teer can turn into a decent striker, and Darren Lavery looks very promising in central midfield. So all in all a very promising youth intake.

Goal for next season: Avoid relegation. Improve on this seasons position of 9th.

2019-12-08_104943beca91e7026e9f6f.png

Really enjoyed managing BFC in my save. Lynch should be fairly useful for you at this level. Was tempted to use them myself for this challenge

Making money in Northern Ireland is very hard though, but if you are tight on the non-contract front you should be okay. 

The main problem is your players will likely get poached if they play well for a season or so. 

Good luck! 

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4 hours ago, Lucas said:

Really enjoyed managing BFC in my save. Lynch should be fairly useful for you at this level. Was tempted to use them myself for this challenge

Making money in Northern Ireland is very hard though, but if you are tight on the non-contract front you should be okay. 

The main problem is your players will likely get poached if they play well for a season or so. 

Good luck! 

Thanks! And the same to you.

I also enjoy it very much even though the finances are very limited.

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2 hours ago, andershs said:

I also enjoy it very much even though the finances are very limited.

Should get easier in a season or two because the youth players will be on £10 per appearance. 

You might also want to consider using less subs, should save you a few thousand per season. 

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Sportklub Austria Klagenfurt

SK Austria Klagenfurt - Season 2024/25

Bundesliga | Championship group | European playoff

This league system makes the competition more interesting but it's a nightmare when you try to overachieve with a weaker squad. 10 matches against strong teams were enough drop us from top three, however this time Rapid managed to win the cup, so we had a chance to contest the last European spot with Austria Wien. They were expected to be in the top group before the season and obviously had better form in the end so it wasn't easy at all, but two goals from our strikers pushed us back to continental football.

ÖFB Cup

After two finals in a row that's a poor result, but still within the board expectations.

Youth intake

Hammerle 25a | Amling 25b | Oberauer 25c | Fring 25d | Feussner 25e | Kalinic 25f

Yes, we need more forwards :D 

Squad stats

Marcucci was more an assistant this season, eventually breaking club and league records, and still became our top goalscorer! Fruh is now a first choice goalkeeper for Austrian NT and so far conceded only one goal from penalty. Our playmaker Michael Funk also improved a lot, setting the new league record with 7.50 average rating.

Upd: Marcucci also got his first international cap for Italy in June! 

Transfers

Jd37FKb.png

Austria regained an extra European place for the next season, that's obviously good for us.

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9DmCv5S.png

I could expect this a some point as our finances were quite poor. Surprised that the board haven't sold Marcucci so far (Juventus offered 39 million for him this summer). Erlachner was our best right winger but can be replaced.

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Sportklub Austria Klagenfurt

SK Austria Klagenfurt - Season 2025/26

Bundesliga | Championship group

Finally we were competitive enough in the final stage. Had no real chances against Red Bull but could hope for second place, only needed to defeat Rapid at home in the last game. Allmendinger scored on 81st minute, Rapid equalized immediately but Marcucci (who else?) managed to score the winner in remaining time. We're going to the Champions League!

ÖFB Cup

Could be our best run here as well. Three years ago we won the trophy without facing any really strong opponents, and now we beat Austria Wien and Red Bull, but unfortunately lost the final on penalties.

Europa League

And there's the biggest highlight of the season. We were lucky to avoid much stronger opponents in qualifying rounds and advanced to the group stage after defeating Viktoria Plzen on penalties. The group itself wasn't the hardest as well and I hoped for some positive results but I certainly couldn't expect winning all six games! Hoffenheim ended our run in February but still it was a great season.

Youth intake

Gruber 26a | Halilovic 26b | Feidt 26c | Kerschner 26d 

Not so many outstanding players this time. Feidt already looks like a good defensive midfielder though I doubt he will develop well with 'spineless' personality :( 

Squad stats

What a year for Marcucci, that's the best performance I've seen for last few years in FM. Next season will be probably his last in Klagenfurt, and I hope it won't be much worse! Dietachmair became our second assistant, that's a big surprise as initially he wasn't even in the senior team but got a chance after Erlachner's departure.

Transfers

Apart from Erlachner and former captain Zagar Knez, we sold some of first newgens whose contracts were running out (some others were simply released),

embpKf1.png

Finally we were able to arrange training and youth facilities improvements, thanks to European prize money and outgoing transfers.

Austria moved up to 9th place in UEFA rankings, that means a direct Champions League group spot for the league winners. Also we had two our players called up for the World Cup (Marcucci and Fruh, no surprises here). What's interesting, Austria and Italy played in the same group, and Italy was knocked out while Austria advanced to playoffs with three clean sheets and then lost to Belgium 0-1 in extra time.

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Sportklub Austria Klagenfurt

SK Austria Klagenfurt - Season 2026/27

Bundesliga | Championship group

We were comfortably second after the regular season but in this system it means nothing. Rapid, who weren't even in top six at winter break, overtook us and held the second place with a draw on last matchday (and a win in that game would have made them champions)! Still we qualified to the Europa League and will start from group stage.

ÖFB Cup

Fourth final in five years, but only the first one remains lucky for us. We shut down Red Bull attack in the final and could win in regulation time but Marcucci had an awful day, missing four clear chances.

Champions League

Here come the money! After passing three qualifying rounds we got the luckiest group draw with CSKA as first seeded team. And as we had good results against other Eastern European teams, I expected to beat them for the 3rd place but surprisingly they won this group. Bayer came second, and we contested the Europa League spot with Sevilla on the last matchday. Needed to win, and Jaritz delivered it with a goal and assist, so we continued our continental season!

Europa League

Depay's set pieces were unstoppable for us, but at least we managed to get a draw at home.

Youth intake

Gugganig 27a | Behn 27b | Winkler 27c | Kovacs 27d | Stoll 27e

Gugganig and Behn are already rated as the best players on their positions! We also got a Russian player born in a polar town close to America (Abramovich was a governor here at the time he bought Chelsea and that's the only connection between Anadyr and professional football :D )

Squad stats

It was the last season here for our stars, Simone Marcucci and Thomas Fruh (they are slightly interested to sign new contracts but their demands are way higher than we can offer). Fruh's departure shouldn't be a disaster for us (our backup keeper Wolf already got a senior cap for Austria), but none of our strikers can equally replace Simone :( 

Transfers

NUc6urD.png

And more improvements on the way!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Sorry if this has been asked before but will the challenge count if I decide to start the challenge in an Oceanic country since I would need to download a custom database for that.

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On 05/02/2020 at 04:22, Aidysnap said:

Sorry if this has been asked before but will the challenge count if I decide to start the challenge in an Oceanic country since I would need to download a custom database for that.

i dont think custom databases are allowed outside of cosmetic changes (name changes, etc)   could be wrong but swore i read that in rules

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